Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


First Advisor

Dongming Peng

Date of this Version



A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfilment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Dongming Peng. Lincoln, Nebraska: October, 2017

Copyright © 2017 Aaron T. Sharp


Digital Steganography continues to evolve today, where steganographers are constantly discovering new methodologies to hide information effectively. Despite this, steganographic attacks, which seek to defeat these techniques, have continually lagged behind. The reason for this is simple: it is exceptionally difficult to defeat the unknown. Most attacks require prior knowledge or study of existing techniques in order to defeat them, and are often highly specific to certain cover media. These constraints are impractical and unrealistic to defeat steganography in modern communication networks. It follows, an effective steganographic attack must not require prior knowledge or study of techniques, and must be capable of being implemented against any type of cover media.

Our Discrete Spring Transform (DST) is a highly adaptable steganographic attack that can be applied to any type of cover media. While there are many steganographic attacks that claim to be blind, the DST is one of only a few attacks that does not require training, or prior knowledge of steganographic techniques to defeat them. Furthermore, the DST is one of the only attack frameworks that can be easily tuned and adapted.

In this dissertation, my work on the Discrete Spring Transform will be formally analyzed for its use as an effective steganographic attack. The effectiveness of the attack will be assessed against numerous steganographic algorithms in a variety of cover media. My research will show that the Discrete Spring Transform is a highly effective attack methodology that can be used to defeat countless steganographic algorithms.

Adviser: Dongming Peng